15 States Claim EPA Violated Clean Air Act with Endangerment Finding

Fifteen states on Monday, led by Texas, filed an opening brief in a legal challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) finding that greenhouse gases (GHGs) pose a danger to public health and welfare.

The 41-page brief filed by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit argues that the EPA so-called Endangerment Finding is flawed because the EPA did not “determine what ‘atmospheric concentrations’ of GHGs” endanger public health and welfare as is required by the Clean Air Act. The brief urges the court to strike down the EPA’s finding.

The 15 states include: Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Virginia.

The EPA finalized its Endangerment Finding in December 2009. The finding “was the first rule in a series to coerce states to regulate GHGs,” Abbott’s office said in a statement. “The brief … asserts that the EPA’s Endangerment Finding is both arbitrary and capricious and failed to comply with the federal Clean Air Act.”

“The EPA’s Endangerment Finding concluded that greenhouse-gas emissions contribute to the ‘perceived but undefined danger’ variously referred to as global warming or climate change,” the office added. “ When the EPA issues an Endangerment Finding, the Clean Air Act requires the agency to establish clear standards. The States’ brief explains that the EPA made no ‘attempt to determine whether reducing GHG emissions will have any impact on climate change.’”

In addition to the challenge to the Endangerment Finding, the States are also challenging five other regulations that are intended to further the EPA’s greenhouse-gas regulatory regime.

Sources: POWERnews, Texas AG Gregg Abbot

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